Professor Andrew Hamilton, who has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford since 2009, is to be the next President of New York University.
He will leave Oxford at the end of December and take up his new appointment in the New Year.
Professor Hamilton, who is Oxford's second longest serving Vice-Chancellor of the modern era, said: 'It is a huge privilege to serve this great university and will remain so for the rest of my time here.
'It is premature to talk of achievements and legacies - there is still much to be done on my watch - but I am delighted to have been part of a very exciting, dynamic and successful time in Oxford’s long and illustrious history.'
Professor Hamilton's new appointment will take him back to the United States where he has spent much of his career. 'It won’t be easy to leave Oxford. I have learnt a great deal, and I'm sure the insights and experience gained here will stand me in good stead in my new role in New York,' he said.
The Chancellor of the University, Lord Patten said: 'Andy has shared his departure plans with me, and I know he will continue to serve Oxford for his remaining period in office with the same remarkable energy and commitment that have made his tenure as Vice-Chancellor such a success. When the time comes, he will leave Oxford with our best wishes and sincere thanks.'
The process of choosing a successor to Professor Hamilton in Oxford is well-advanced. A committee charged with nominating the next Vice-Chancellor is expected to bring forward a name for approval by early June.